So you can see life from my eyes....

Can I just say that I have finally been told that I am eating like a Kenyan! When I got here

Tuesday, I took very small bites, but now I can fill my spoon and put the whole thing in my
mouth!! haha. I am sure you all wanted to know that... I am really starting to enjoy the food!
At first, I didn't know if I would be able to eat 3 meals of heavy food (so many vegetables)
and 4 cups of hot tea a day, but now I know I can do it!! I am actually starting to love it. I
have realized that the reason people eat so much heavy food is because they walk so much
and work so hard. The last two days have made me very hungry! Last night's meal was my
favorite. We had mashed potatoes, rice, stew (meat, carrots, onions, beans, and cabbage),
bananas, and greens! This morning for breakfast I had Kenyan pancakes with my mammaw's
strawberry jam! YUMMY!

My two days at the youth centre have been amazing!! It is a little different being the only
muzungu (white person) around. All the children flock to me! I am surrounded constantly by
at least 50 kids all who want to lay a hand on me. I have been pinched and rubbed more times
that I can count. I have tried to tell them that my skin will not come off and it will not change
colors!! A lot of them do not understand that, though beacause many of the children (especially
the younger ones) do not speak English. Today I let the hair and beauty department at the centre
braid my hair! I have been reminded that Africans pull very hard! OUCH! My head still hurts.

Yesterday, I was a little upset because I was told that the reason everyone stares at me is not just
because I am "white." Yes, I am a different color, but a lot of them stare because they are hurt. They
are hurt because I spent thousands of dollars to come here and many of them cannot even afford to
give their children food each day. I was very emotional yesterday. I cried and was teary eyed all
day long. These people are right. I did spend thousands of dollars to come to this place, but what I
want them to see is that I came FOR THEM! I am here because I love them. I love them so much
I am here because I think that what I have to offer is much better than money. I want to share the
Word of God with them. Oh I pray that before I leave, these people would see that. May they see
that these earthly things will pass (including food), but if they have Jesus Christ they will continue
to live!

OKay.. On to the pictures!!

This is my BESTEST friend Joab! He comes and visits
every night for dinner and to keep me company! This picture
was taken in a very loud, obnoxious, and hot matatu
(public transportation)! Their were about 15 people in this van.
Joab has helped me so much here in Kenya to fit in! If he wasn't
here then, well, I don't know if I could've adjusted so quickly. He
has taught me everything from the proper way to fix tea to being a
confident muzungu among many Kenyans!

My lovely bed and mosquito net :) :) It is so nice that they haven given me my own room! And man, this bed sleeps good!!

Well, Jacob tells me that I attract farm animals! All of you
know how much I want a goat! Since my dad says no, I guess
I will have to keep one while in Kenya!! When I picked this
little guy up, the momma was not very happy with me..... One
thing that I love about the animals here is that none of them
are scared of humans! I have already gotten to randomly pet pigs,
goats, and well.... chickens. They run throughout the streets.

I knew all of you who went last summer would appreciate this
picture :)

I couldn't believe it when I saw the school! It looks like a whole new school from when we came last summer. There are now 3 floors, and an underground level. The underground level has a staff room and a library! Yes, a library!! Hundreds of books were donated to the centre! I have started reading one childrens book to my friend Saul each day. Yesterday I read him Green Eggs and Ham and then today I read him There's a Wocket in my Pocket! He loves Dr. Seuss, but had never read any of those books. The 1st floor has 6 classrooms, and the 2nd floor has 5 class rooms and a huge office for Principal Moses. The 2nd floor also has other administration offices and the youth classrooms. They are down to only 8 youth at the moment, but are hoping to bring more in. The third floor is a HUGE assembly room. Complete with a stage and ceiling fans. It will also have tile floors! The school looks amazing. I was very impressed! I think having a nice school to learn in brings hope to these students.

This..... is why I am here. I love each and
every child. Currently there around 295 kids
at the youth centre. I hope to learn each ones
name. It is a big goal, but I can do it :) I am
also learning swahili by the way. Principal Moses
is teaching me, and he said I could take classes
with the younger children!! He has even given
me homework. He says by the time I leave, I
should at least know simple Swahili.

Well, I am going to say goodnight! I just spent two hours doing this blog! Uploading pictures takes
FOREVER!! I love you all :)

Don  – (June 4, 2010 at 3:22 PM)  

Chloe seeing you has brought tears to my eyes. Why oh why can't we all be sold out for Christ like you are. God has given your mother and me such awesome children.
I am so happy for you and how things are working out. Keep the blog going. I go to the blog daily to see if you have added anything and to read the comments others have left for you.
I love you. Daddy

my5cubs  – (June 4, 2010 at 7:06 PM)  

Hey CoCo, It's 9:39pmEST and I just read your blog update - it is amazing stuff and so are you! Daddy had already told me earlier before he left work that you had updated it today, but I haven't had a chance to get on the computer since very early (3:30amEST)& I spent that chatting with Emma! It's been a hectic day for me, kept Kenzie and Gracie got out of school. She got 10 awards yesterday @ program. We went to the farm & visited with Mammaw, Granddaddy & Aunt Mary Peterman was there - not gonna tell you what we had for lunch - yes, I will vegetables, we had vegetables. I'm so proud you are eating vegetables, they really are your friend!

I'm so thankful to God that you are sleeping well in your pretty room and getting good exercise walking. I'm trying to learn that walking is my friend too! The pictures are beautiful & thank you for such a great update, you are becoming quite the journalist.

The school sounds amazing & I'm sure you will be a blessing to all those children & vice versa. Tell Jopi thank you from me for being such a good friend to you and also thank Principal Moses. You make me homesick for Africa & I've never even been!

I'll write more later, Heath is here with Gracie & they are writing songs! Enjoy the animals there, makes me miss our goats we had when I was a little girl - Fred, Barney, Wilma, think we had a Betty too! Just stay away from snakes! I'm praying God protects you, blesses you & smiles down on you with His big moon everynight. It seems like you've been gone a very long time already, but so proud you are working for His Glory & Honor & Kingdom. Can't wait to hear Swahili spoken 'southern ga peach style'!


my5cubs  – (June 5, 2010 at 6:42 AM)  

Okiedokie19-year-oldCokie - It's (9:17amEST)so I figure it"s 4:17pm in Kenya and that's approximately the time you were born 19 years ago - HAPPY HAPPY HAPPIEST-EVER BIRTHDAY Darling, what a great opportunity, to celebrate your birthday in Kenya, a place you love & have such a passion for. And, yes, I know it's a given, you're missing me hehehehehe

Just wanted to write you a brief Happy Birthday note - how did you like your African birthday cards? I just chatted with Pastor Wambua and he said he hoped to be home by Tuesday. I told him I was a little concerned that you were eating his peanut butter & homemade strawberry preserves that were meant for him! He said they will be there if she meant them for me - I told him he had blessed me this day & I couldn't wait to meet him one day.

I pray you are having the bestest birthday ever & know Daddy & I are with you always in spirit. Asked Pastor Wambua to pray for Daddy's trip also, he thought that was such a wonderful opportunity for Daddy to be on a Mission Trip the same time as you were in Africa.

This is my prayer for you today sweetie on your 19th birthday Ephesians 1:16-19 I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom & revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength. You are His Light Coco, shine brightly for His Honor & Praise - LU4ever2m&b

Don  – (June 5, 2010 at 7:22 AM)  

Your mother said it all. Happy Birthday my darling, missing you. Love Daddy

marilynn  – (June 5, 2010 at 7:39 AM)  

Happy Birthday Chloe! I know this will be one birthday you'll always remember. I've enjoyed reading your blogs. You're a wonderful writer...and so entertaining. I've laughed at the many things you've encountered so far and you just got there! Please greet my African friends for me. Like so many others who were on our mission trip last year, I left a part of my heart in Africa and pray to return one day. You're such an inspiration to me and I'm so proud of you for the adventure you're now on and know that many lives will be changed for Christ because of you. I'm keeping you top on my prayer list!! Blessings.... Happy Birthday!!!

Jordan –   – (June 5, 2010 at 12:21 PM)  

Chloe! I figured I would just say happy birthday... again. Hope you had wonderful day! I know I'm kinda late because its 10 PM in Kenya now but oh well. We graduated last night and as I sat at graduation I couldn't help but look up at the night sky and think of how big and mighty our God is. Although your an ocean away He has called you there for His purpose and right now I'm serving Him over here. He truly is mighty! Love you very much sister! Keep up the great work of the Kingdom! I'm still praying for you. Can't wait to hear about everything when you get back. =)

Billy White  – (June 5, 2010 at 1:29 PM)  

We have been enjoying the updates from you. Hope that you have had an amazing birthday in Kenya. Russ asked about you this morning....he wanted to know when you gat there and then started figuring how many days in two months (this comes from the kid who yesterday wrote a note of when he has to go back to school, so we wouldn't forget). We are praying for you. Continue to let your light shine! James 4:8

Becky  – (June 5, 2010 at 2:11 PM)  

Oh my gosh! The youth center looks amazing!! Wow! I miss everyone sooooo much. Please give Joab and Saul special hugs for me. I wish I could be with you. Praying for you and extremely proud of you :).

Luke  – (June 5, 2010 at 2:19 PM)  

The youth centre looks like a different place!! That is great they got it finished and looking so good....reading the blog it sounds like you are doing great and things are going really well so far. I'm praying for you while you're over there. I especially liked the picture of the goat...wish I was over there too! Take care!

Don  – (June 5, 2010 at 4:50 PM)  

From the birthday wishes here and on facebook I hope you know how loved you are. Hope your day has been spectacular. Lots of Love Daddy

Jakob –   – (June 5, 2010 at 4:53 PM)  

Hey Chloe!! Happy Birthday!! I miss you sooo much! Its raining here now, its nice we needed it. Tell your buddy Joab I said hello and for him to keep on looking after you! Also tell him to throw a "c" in his name and he'll have the coolest name ever!! haha j/k Im looking forward to your next post! I enjoy reading them :))

Anonymous –   – (June 5, 2010 at 7:30 PM)  

1) You rock, Chloe!!!!!
2) Happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!
3) Chicken incident... I thought I told you not to listen to Jobi... you can't trust anyone who smiles that much! :)
4) Chicken incident 2... at least it wasn't an osterich!
5) I remember those long upload times. Thanks for sacrificing time to post the pics & blogs. They're a wonderful blessing.
6) Tell Moses that we are thrilled about the Center. It does look SO good.
7) The sound of "how are you" still echoes in my ears and even more as I look at the pic of the beautiful children surrounding you. Wish I was there to hear that lovely refrain.
8) Work hard on the swahili so that you can be a translator on our next trip!
9) Regarding the reason for the stares you get... Understand that the real object of their hurt isn't you, but the need of their children, empathise with them in this tragedy, let your love for them speak louder than words, and remember that you are simply obeying God's call on your life... just remain faithful & obedient.
10) Love ya', girl!
- Daryl
II Cor. 5:14-15

my5cubs  – (June 6, 2010 at 1:29 AM)  

Okiedokiecokie - Mama's having a 'missing you' moment. Just wanted to share an answered prayer -Daddy is going on World Changer's trip - thank you Jesus. When he called me yesterday afternoon & told me, he sounded like the weight of the world had been lifted off his shoulders. He's excited & will have an awesome week, I just know it. Graciefacie & I will be here by ourselves, but we'll stay busy - going tomorrow to pick up her report card and she's helping Kimmie with VBS stuff, she helped her most of Friday also & is really enjoying that. She helped me cut all the grass yesterday, so we were all done before Daddy got home from work. Then Thursday & Friday, she'll be going on Youth Advocacy Leadership retreat & looking forward to that.

It's 4:20amEST - Daddy & I came so close to calling you last night, but didn't want to wake you and also didn't know if you have your Kenyan phone on you at all times. We are going to early church today, so Daddy can go back to office and wrap up a few things before leaving for TN. Those kids are gonna love him this week, his crew is doing drywall work cause Daddy is the only one going that knows how, that's pretty awesome huh!

I can't wait to hear what you've been up to for the last couple of days. I'm anxious to hear how your Kenyan birthday went & also are you finding time to use your IndianaJones journal?

Miss you very much, but feel God's peace about your work for His Kingdom. Going to look at moon - always remember I LU4ever2m&b

Anonymous –   – (June 6, 2010 at 5:03 AM)  

Wow! You are right . . . the Youth Centre looks fabulous! I am so very excited about the progress and even greater, what can be done for those beautiful children in the Lord's name!

Speaking of which, I just had to "tear up" at the sight of those wonderful little smiling faces in blue surrounding you at the school . . . I, like Ms. Marilyn, left a part of my heart in Kenya last year, and DO so hope for the chance, God willing, to go back there again!

Chloe, take this opportunity and continue to allow God to work in you and through you. You have such a gift and a heart of love, through Christ, the people will SEE that "real love" shining through you and KNOW that you are "for real" and that our God is "for real"!

Love ya, gal!

Ms. Julia

Linda & Marilynn  – (June 6, 2010 at 11:05 AM)  

Hey Chloe, I just got off the phone from talking with Emma and she was making ugali and sukuma wiki for their dinner for tonight and it made me so homesick for Africa. I really enjoyed eating that when we were over there. Oh what precious memories of Mama Ian, Gladys, Jane, Rose and Elizabeth letting Linda and I help stir the ugali and cut the sukuma wiki. Enjoy your time in Kenya and being with those precious children. Emma plans to add her comments soon. Can't wait to read your next blog update. God bless you and guide you as you go about His work.

yourASIAN =) –   – (June 7, 2010 at 12:35 AM)  

CHLOEEE!!!.. I cannot put into words how much I miss you =(.. While reading your blog, I can see you saying all of this with your enthusiastic smile and positive attitude. You are beyond inspirational =).. Yum vegetables! Now you can consume the peas and carrots in the fried rice no problem! =).. Yay you finally have a goat? Does it have a name? =P.. Can't wait to hear more and more from you girl! I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!! =) =) =)

my5cubs  – (June 7, 2010 at 10:49 AM)  

Oh Coco, surely do miss you - this is gonna be a tough week with you & daddy gone & even GF is going to go to YAL Camp Thursday & Friday - keeping Kenzie tomorrow & Wednesday & every Tuesday & Wednesday will be my days. GF helped Kimmie again this morning & we're gonna have a lazy time for awhile before getting to work in the yards, gotta weed around my garden VEGETABLES - wanta make sure I make enough to cook for you!

I love you so much and I'm sorry you have been having problems with the blog. Even if you have to post on Facebook, everyone can still read & we'll be able to catch a glimpse of your beautiful self, which is priceless to this mama.

Aleegator is doing well, she's forbidden me to write on her wall anymore, said I freaked out her boy ThurstonHowell,III! I wanted to tell her to tell him to "ManUP" but I didn't lol! GF is standing here beside me playing the guitar, a little music to type by lol! Aleegator also got stars in her eyes last nite when Mark Richt came into Russell & spoke to her - told her he puts his pants on just like anybody else, but she was a little starstruck & is now friends with his son, that's why Daddy Richt was visiting Russell Hall.

Daddy & the World Changers group left around 8am. Daddy was driving the VUS (what I call our new van/bus and everyone was riding with him so Daryl could drive one of the other vans and make some phone calls. Haven't heard from him yet, but they should be arriving in TN soon. He sounded so relieved to be on this trip & I thank God that he went, he needs a break from regular work. GF is playing "Bathroom on the right" aka Bad Moon Rising!

Hope & pray you are having the time of your life & loving on and witnessing to many many people.
Told Pastor Wambua he was my new favorite person to pray for! Prayed this am for his safe travels back home, know you & his family will be glad to see him, give him an extra big hug for me. Graciefacie just had the nerve to say to me, 'I know Chloe is getting tired of reading your comments mama'. Obviously, she's deranged!

We're all right here praying for you sweetie. LU4ever2m&b

Anonymous –   – (June 7, 2010 at 12:57 PM)  

I loved reading you post. You are so funny! I am praying for you and love you much!

Cindy White

Toni –   – (June 12, 2010 at 1:29 PM)  

I have loved reading all of your blogs! It is so awesome how God is using you. Right now I am sitting at home freaking out becasue I am leaving for Hawaii tomorrow! Brittney is here to help me pack and calm me down haha! but we both miss you and hopefully I will be able to keep up with your blog while I am gone. I will keep praying for you and I can't wait to see you again!
We love you!!!!

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